Our homes have turned into our office, classroom, gym, and bakery almost overnight, and we are using so much more power than we ever had before. We’ve got multiple t.v.’s on at the same time probably streaming another princess movie on Disney+. Laptops are always powered up for learning online or tackling that next Zoom meeting. Your lights are on all day long, and your oven timer just dinged to let you know that your cupcakes are done. There’s no doubt that our bills are higher, but there are everyday things you can look into to help trim the fat on your next invoice.
- Use LED bulbs. This might be a no-brainer to many, but when you switch to LED bulbs, you can save up $88/year! Say what! Savings will even be greater if you have a lot of pot lights or under-lit cabinetry lighting. Another tip is to use automatic timers for your outdoor light fixtures.
Be aware of phantom power. Your appliances and devices still draw energy even when they are turned off. Phantom power contributes to 10% of the power bill, so try and unplug all your devices when you’re not using them or utilize a power bar and switch them off when not in use. Our kitchen alone had a coffee maker, toaster, diffuser, and a multi-plug that had four devices charging. The kid’s rooms had a total of three lamps, alarm clocks, electric piano, and a noise machine.
- Clean your filters. Make sure your furnace, a/c, and HVAC filters are replaced or cleaned every few months. If your filters are dirty, your mechanics will have to work overtime to do their jobs, using more and more energy.
- Insulation & Weatherstripping. Caulking around windows and doors and installing weatherstripping can save up to 10% of your yearly heating costs. If you live in an older home, your culprit could be the lack of insulation. This is a huge reason for heat loss, requiring your furnace to work harder and harder to maintain the temperature in your home.
- Re-Think Or Pay More Attention To Your Family’s Behaviours. This is where you can make some big adjustments by changing small habits to help with your power consumption. If you have an electric water heater, limit your shower time or install a low flow showerhead. By doing this, you can reduce your hot water consumption by 50%! WOW! Consider replacing your older appliances and purchase energy star products. Another tip is not to pack your fridge so tight that air can’t circulate around the items. Your fridge will have to work harder and harder to keep everything cool. Your home’s biggest power guzzlers are that half-filled wine fridge and that massive deep freeze from 1982 that you forget about in the basement. Truly consider letting them go if you are not utilizing them. Always wash full loads with your washing machine and dishwasher and if you have an electric oven, use the “convect” option as often as you can. If you don’t have one yet, installing a programmable thermostat can also save you up to $180/year on your power bill and it will also significantly reduce your natural gas consumption as well. We use a Nest smart thermostat and we’ve noticed a big difference so far. But the biggest change you can make is to get off your devices and swap them out for some outdoor activities with the family. Even replacing an hour of binge-watching Netflix for a walk around your neighbourhood can make a significant difference.
We’d love to hear about your power saving tips that you’ve put in place to lower your bill!
Written By Jessica Dunn ~ JC Realty Regina ~ Listing Specialist